The idea of “personal branding” is unusual to most people, and often has the misconceived notion that it required a person to be something other than themselves. Quite the contrary, the process of personal branding involves highlighting your uniqueness, building a foundation on the things you want to be known for, and then allowing yourself to be known for them. Ultimately, the goal is to create something that conveys a clear message about you.
It is the telling of your story, that reflects your conduct, your behaviour, your spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes. A personal brand is the window which showcases your unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world. Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients.
With personal branding you are defining your successes with a form of self-packaging, your deliberate, conscious and intentional efforts with which you create and influence the public perception of you by positioning yourself as an authority in your industry, and elevating your credibility ‘Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you ‘(Be Your Own Brand, David McNally and Karl Speak)
Why does Personal Branding matter? If you want to be considered influential in your area of business, you need to create a strong personal brand. Your personal brand helps you stand out from everybody else offering the same service/product you offer. You can use your personal brand to demonstrate your knowledge and skills about your areas of expertise. Your personal brand is what makes you memorable. It is your personal brand that helps you stand out from the thousands of other people/services like yours.
Your personal brand can be vital to you professionally. It is how you present yourself to current and potential clients gives you the opportunity to ensure that people see you in the way you want them to. It is the opportunity to highlight your strengths and your passions. It helps people believe they know you better, and people have much higher trust in those they feel they know.
It makes better sense that as business owners we should bond with potential customers first on an individual basis before we try to deliver the company’s message. Ultimately we want to build a reputation as somebody who cares about our potential and existing clients. That’s why it is critical to stay consistent at all times and stay true and align your personal branding with your company branding.
The term ‘Personal Branding’ is thought to have originated from an article written by Tom Peters in 1997 (Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an “Employee” into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion.) Peters told us that no matter what industry we work in, or where we live, we’re all CEOs of our own personal brand, and that means that we must market ourselves just as vigorously as any product or service.
In today’s competitive environment, building a personal brand as a professional, is just as important as building a company brand. For some industries, your personal brand might even be more important. The relationship between brands and consumers is dynamic and must be constantly refined. When representing a business, how you present yourself with the unspoken – expresses how you think about yourself. Effective personal branding isn’t about putting on a show, it’s about cultivating the right perceptions – just like in professional branding.
Erving Goffman was a Canadian-born social psychologist and writer, considered by some “the most influential American sociologist of the twentieth century” Goffman’s Self-Presentation theory explores the way people want to be seen and how people are perceived by their peers. Goffman uses the term Dramaturgy to describe looking at one’s own persona – as a key component of a way a person acts when in public or around other people to build a certain persona for how they would like others to view them. The theory of self-presentation looks at how people look to create an identity for themselves that they would like to be seen as by their peers or in the public eye.
A Few Tips To Building Your Personal Brand
Don’t forget the online world. Your personal brand needs to encompass all the places where your customers could encounter you.
Ideally, you will want your personal branding to encompass all of your public life. So this even covers how you dress whenever you are in a public situation.
The secret of successful personal branding is an underlying consistency Your Actions Need to Match Your Personal Branding. You are trying to establish an external depiction of “you.” This means that you need to act consistently with that depiction.
Personal branding shows people you’re the only solution to their problem. It’s a way of showing that you’re not just better than the other people out there, you’re “the” answer to a specific problem.
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